National Audit Office publishes its report into the government’s awarding of PPE contracts, saying the process lacked transparency and favoured suppliers with political connections
Author: Anthony Robinson
Anthony was a sales engineer, now retired and living in North Yorkshire after a long career representing several European manufacturers in the UK. Seeing first hand how continental companies work and how they strive to become world-class businesses makes him fear for Britain's post-Brexit future. He is interested in politics, although not as an active party member, and enjoys reading, gardening and DIY.
Comments about Brexit from Lord Frost in 2016 seen as slightly embarrassing for the former diplomat now negotiating our exit
Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s senior adviser is forced out of Downing Street after a furious row involving the Boris Johnson’s partner Carrie Symonds.
Britain has been forced to unilaterally confirm EU rules will be acceptable in the UK as far as financial services and food labelling is concerned making a mockery of regaining sovereignty after Brexit.
News that Dominic Cummings will be leaving Downing Street before the end of the year has been followed by a typically fawning piece from James Forsyth at The Spectator, the political magazine where Cummings’s wife works as a commissioning editor. Forsyth has frequently been a mouth piece for Cummings in the past, so it was […]
As we enter the final decisive phase of Brexit, a few thoughts on what the polling might be telling us about the public’s attitude to leaving the EU.
The chaotic ‘nest of vipers’ in Downing Street burst out into open warfare last night with the shock resignation of the PM’s communications chief Lee Cain and the threatened departure of senior adviser Dominic Cummings and chief Brexit negotiator Lord David Frost. Jim Pickard, chief political correspondent at the FT tweeted: One well-placed Whitehall official […]
Joe Biden’s victory in the USA has been widely welcomed and comes at a crucial moment. It may have a significant impact on the current EU-UK trade negotiations. The president elect is no admirer of Brexit, or Boris Johnson the living embodiment of it, once describing him as a “physical and emotional clone of Trump”. […]
How long can the prime minister’s senior adviser cling on? There is a growing rebellion in Tory ranks against the latest lockdown measures, with leading Tories including Sir Desmond Swayne and Iain Duncan Smith in the vanguard. Even the chair and vice-chair of the powerful backbench 1922 committee, Sir Graham Brady and Charles Walker, have […]
Next year may be a difficult one for Mr Butler-Adams at Brompton, and plenty of other manufacturers in bicycles and other industries. Those who for years have complained that the EU is a “protectionist racket” may soon find out why.
The news that a cross-party group of MPs has launched a legal action against the British government’s refusal to investigate Russian interference in UK democratic processes should come as no surprise. Nor should the fact that the group includes no Tory MPs, since they and the party have benefited from an awful lot of Russian money. […]
Dr Anna Jerzewska is the founder and director of Trade & Borders, a consultancy business advising on the complex issues of international trade. On Thursday she held an all-day webinar with customs authorities from Belgium, Holland, France and Ireland. Among the issues discussed were the traffic management problems raised by Brexit and for which […]
The Times had an article about VAT last Thursday involving the actor William Shatner, otherwise known as Captain James T Kirk from the original Star Trek series. He was complaining that his company would have to stop selling Star Trek memorabilia into the UK because HMRC are insisting overseas sellers must register for VAT after […]
The Tory dominated treasury select committee has written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to “raise a series of concerns” about government preparations for Brexit, “as a matter of urgency”. The seven page letter dated 22 October, from committee chair Mel Stride, is laced with thinly disguised criticisms about IT systems, infrastructure and basic guidance for British […]
Businesses in the UK are being urged to prepare for Brexit, but the misinformation peddled by the leave campaign in 2016 and since, is making the government’s task that much harder. Soothing words from the prime minister claiming we will “prosper mightily” after a no-deal Brexit, have led many to think that trading on World […]
City editor Alex Brummer awarded the first Yorkshire Bylines ‘Turner’ prize Of all the newspapers in Britain, the Daily Mail, under brooding editor Paul Dacre, was front and centre of Brexit. Over the years it pumped a lot of malicious anti-EU invective into the debate, stirring up totally irrational myths about Britain somehow being subjugated […]
Johnson’s deadlines come and go like ships that pass in the night. There have been so many that the rules of supply and demand have reduced them to the political equivalent of junk bonds – worthless. The passing of the latest one last week was another sure sign that Johnson is not willing for the […]
The prime minister and Michael Gove gave a briefing yesterday afternoon to 250 leaders of business groups, which attendees variously described as “terrible”, “disappointing” and “more of a lecture” according to the BBC. The prime minister appeared to be rolling out the four-letter word business policy first developed when he was foreign secretary in 2018. […]
From Boris Johnson’s statement on Friday we can see the developing narrative that the government intends to adopt in the coming days, as Brexit reaches its unhappy denouement. The prime minister said that from the outset we wanted “nothing more complicated than a Canada-style relationship” – shorthand for CETA, the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement signed […]
As the UK and the EU edge fractiously towards a ‘thin’ free trade deal, with varying levels of suspicion, mistrust and rancour on both sides, it might be a good time to step back and take a longer-term view of Brexit.
The prime minister’s latest deadline came and went yesterday with no free trade agreement in sight and the resolution agreed by the European Council not only ignored it completely but called on the UK to “make the necessary moves to make an agreement possible”. Last night his spokesperson at No 10 said Mr Johnson, “noted […]
Yesterday, the Transport Select Committee took evidence from the leaders of various port and freight transport associations, and later from Rachel Maclean, under secretary of state at the Department for Transport. It was not an encouraging meeting. Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association (RHA), believes that delays in Dover in January are […]
Following a demonstration by farmers yesterday outside parliament and the Channel 4 Dispatches programme last night about US food and farming products, MPs had the opportunity to vote to adopt an amendment to the agriculture bill to prevent sub-standard food reaching our shores. Lords amendment 16 would have required agricultural and food imports to meet […]
Somebody once said, when Britain left the EU we didn’t fall into a void but into something far worse. This was in respect of aviation and the thicket of international agreements which preceded the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA), but it applies equally to fishing and the common fisheries policy. Leaving the common fisheries policy, […]
It is being reported that the EU is getting ready to call Johnson’s bluff. Bloomberg say the EU has no plans to offer any concessions to the UK ahead of next week’s 15 October deadline set by the prime minister. This follows Barnier’s visit to Berlin yesterday where he met with Angela Merkel and German […]
As the trade talks continue in Brussels, Britain’s desperation to enter the so-called “tunnel” is becoming all too clear. The Guardian reports that the UK government has this week tabled no fewer than five new draft negotiating documents containing legal texts on fisheries, the level playing field, law enforcement and judicial cooperation, civil nuclear cooperation […]
The fact that Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove is accompanying Lord Frost, chief UK negotiator, to Brussels this week for the ninth round of talks says everything. Gove is said to be representing the UK at more “joint committee” talks about still unresolved issues on the Northern Irish border but make no mistake, crunch time […]
Yesterday marked 100 days to the end of the transition period and the beginning of an omni-crisis for the government. Coronavirus is once again on the rise, threatening a second peak over the winter, with 6,208 new cases reported, virtually the same as at the height of the pandemic in May. At the same time, […]
Those who voted for Johnson in the belief that inside the clown was a serious-minded politician trying to get out, are slowly being disappointed as his government staggers through a parade of fumbling incoherence, from one disaster to the next. The near constant succession of missteps, U-turns and policy mistakes are not even punctuated by […]
The prime minister seems unable to shake off his mysterious connections to Russians and their money. The BBC is now reporting an $8m transaction between a Russian politician and the husband of Lubov Chernukhin, who is famous for donating £1.7m to the Tory party and paying handsomely for the privilege of playing tennis with David […]